Enemy Lines

A rival scout sizes up the METS

If they win 63, it'll be a pretty good year. But this could be the last of the Wait till Next Year years.... The future of the Mets is pitching. Losing MATT HARVEY to Tommy John surgery was a huge blow, but ZACK WHEELER is not far behind him: mid-90s fastball, power pitcher.... NOAH SYNDERGAARD will be the third guy—in 2015 those three will form a very powerful rotation. Syndergaard could be in the majors by this year's All-Star break.... BARTOLO COLON commands the zone with his fastball. He throws 90, but he's up, down, in, out. If he throws 100 pitches, 80 will be fastballs—but he knows where they're going to be, and the hitters don't.... BOBBY PARNELL is supposed to be the closer, but he's coming back from neck surgery and hasn't thrown hard yet—93 tops. I wouldn't be surprised to see JENRRY MEJIA or RAFAEL MONTERO get the job.... Without Harvey and Syndergaard it's a command staff, which is a problem because their infield is poor.DANIEL MURPHY's not a good second baseman, RUBEN TEJADA's not a good shortstop, and DAVID WRIGHT's only a good third baseman, not great.... LUCAS DUDA can hit, but he's just adequate at first base. He has to be in the lineup someplace because he's one of the few guys who can hit it over the fence.... I think with the Yankees, CURTIS GRANDERSON sacrificed hitting for home runs because he knew he'd get paid on power. He's gotten paid, so now he might switch. His ideal season is .280 with 20 home runs.... TRAVIS D'ARNAUD has better bat speed than Matt Wieters. Two years from now he'll be a pretty good offensive catcher.

The Lineup

2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM

[originallink:10897631:1012605]

PROJECTED RUNS SCORED

500

METS 650

NL AVERAGE 667

PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED

500

METS 759

NL AVERAGE 677

Modest Proposal

One of the few bright spots for the 2013 Mets was rookie JUAN LAGARES. The low-profile prospect got a chance to play when every other centerfield option failed, and while he didn't hit much (.242/.281/.352), Lagares was a revelation on defense, rated by Baseball Info Solutions as saving 30 runs above average in about 60% of a season. Lagares showed off a full set of defensive skills: He got good jumps, covered ground with his speed and unleashed a cannon—15 base runner kills, third most in the majors in just 904 innings in the field. The Mets are breaking in young pitchers, and you do that best by using the strongest possible defense, even if it trades off runs at the plate. While the Mets nominally signed CURTIS GRANDERSON to play center, their best team has Lagares there every single day, Granderson in right and LUCAS DUDA and CHRIS YOUNG platooning in left. ERIC YOUNG and his low-OBP speed can come off the bench.

PHOTOPORTER BINKS FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WHEELER)Zack Wheeler PHOTOTOM DIPACE (GRANDERSON)Curtis Granderson TWO CHARTS PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)